I know this is fairly contrarian thinking in HR circles, but I believe that leopards really don’t change their spots.
A basically unorganized person isn’t going to become organized by reading a book. Someone who’s naturally reactive in their style isn’t going to become proactive because they went to a Robin Sharma seminar. They are who they are, and the books and seminars may make them a slightly better version of themselves, but for the most part, you’re going to get more of same of the package you’ve got now.
But you can expect two important things:
- Greater self-awareness: We can forgive people for their sins when they at least recognize and acknowledge that they are aware of the parts of themselves that are not cool and not helpful to the team.
- Sitting in a better seat: Since people are always going to be who they are, the real trick is to have them sit in a seat that takes advantage of all of their natural strengths and limits their exposure to areas that are weak for them.
These two pieces are huge and are the path to getting the most out of everybody, and not hoping for what’s not possible. Just my thoughts.